The 50 States Small Business Policy Index

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Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its 18th annual “Small Business Policy Index 2013: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship.”



SBE Council has published the state Index for 18 years, which ranks the 50 states according to 47 different policy measurements, including a wide array of tax, regulatory and government spending measures.



The states that have the most entrepreneur-friendly policies under the “Small Business Policy Index 2013” are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Texas, 4) Wyoming, 5) Florida, 6) Washington, 7) Alabama, 8) Indiana, 9) Ohio, 10) Utah, 11) Michigan, 12) North Dakota, 13) Arizona, 14) Colorado, and 15) Virginia.



In contrast, the states with the least friendly policy environments for small businesses are: 40) Rhode Island, 41) Connecticut, 42) Oregon, 43) Iowa, 44) Maine, 45) Minnesota, 46) Hawaii, 47) New York, 48) Vermont, 49) New Jersey, and 50) California.



The “Small Business Policy Index 2013” can be read and downloaded here, with an interactive map and slide show on SBE Council’s website here. SBE Council president and CEO Karen Kerrigan said: “Policy reforms that bolster small business startup and growth are mostly being implemented at the state level.  Unfortunately, federal policy and uncertainty remains an overall negative for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But states vary widely in terms of their policy approaches. The top states on the Small Business Policy Index 2013 are streamlining government and lifting burdens like excessive taxation and regulation. They are passing responsible budgets, and living within their means. The worst ranked states keep treating small businesses and entrepreneurs as piggy banks to fund higher spending and bankrupt programs.”



Kerrigan added: “Governors and state leaders who are serious about improving their entrepreneurial ecosystems are aggressively working to change policies that are harming entrepreneurship and business growth.  The White House needs to closely examine what the most successful states are doing to help entrepreneurs.  These pro-growth policies, if enacted at the federal level, would make a major difference for U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.”



Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council’s chief economist and author of the study, pointed out, “This study is straightforward and well documented. The Small Business Policy Index 2013 is built on sound, clear-cut economics, as understood in Economics 101 and evidenced by the many studies cited in the Index. Quite simply, the states are compared and ranked according to how state and local government policies impact costs and incentives for entrepreneurship and investment. In turn, such risk taking is critical to economic growth, income growth and job creation.”



Keating added, “Small business owners and business leaders need to look at the details for their respective states.  The Small Business Policy Index 2013 is a valuable tool to let policymakers know where improvements are needed, so that entrepreneurs can do what they do best, that is, start up and build businesses, innovate, grow the state’s economy, and create jobs.”



Small Business Policy Index 2013
Rank State       SBPI
1 South Dakota 34.627
2 Nevada 37.537
3 Texas 39.520
4 Wyoming 44.414
5 Florida 48.863
6 Washington 54.500
7 Alabama 57.758
8 Indiana 58.138
9 Ohio 61.372
10 Utah 62.740
11 Michigan 62.782
12 North Dakota 63.490
13 Arizona 64.590
14 Colorado 65.500
15 Virginia 65.538
16 Mississippi 66.713
17 South Carolina 66.808
18 Tennessee 68.081
19 New Hampshire 68.789
20 Alaska 69.487
21 Louisiana 70.051
22 Georgia 70.307
23 Kansas 71.645
24 Oklahoma 73.392
25 Pennsylvania 73.685
26 Missouri 73.703
27 New Mexico 76.799
28 West Virginia 79.011
29 Wisconsin 80.024
30 Kentucky 80.061
31 North Carolina 80.777
32 Idaho 80.782
33 Montana 81.169
34 Delaware 81.452
35 Illinois 83.047
36 Arkansas 83.462
37 Maryland 84.491
38 Massachusetts 86.408
39 Nebraska 88.476
40 Rhode Island 94.255
41 Connecticut 94.632
42 Oregon 94.952
43 Iowa 97.002
44 Maine 103.264
45 Minnesota 103.486
46 Hawaii 107.070
47 New York 107.213
48 Vermont 107.221
49 New Jersey 109.265
50 California 113.637



SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education group that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.  For more information, please visit:  Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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Darshan Shah

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